Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yeast Starter

Tonight I made my yeast starter for the Allagash Tripel I'm brewing tomorow.  I usually don't make yeast starters and I tend to just trust the Wyeast smack packs and the cell counts they advertise.  But because of the high gravity of the Tripel, and this being my first Belgian beer, I thought I should do it right and make sure I had a proper fermentation with good cell counts, so I made a starter.  Hopefully it works out well.  We shall see.
So with this, I have a question for you all.  When I made the starter, I didn't smack the smack pack and just poured the yeast in the jug.  I decided to pull the smack pack out and see what it looks like.  It's basically a small package of wort.  You can see it in the picture just next to the starter.  On to the question.....would it be feasable to save this and over time as I mack starters, keep them until I have enough Wyeast wort to make a starter with that wort instead of buying DME and using that?  Also, if it would work, am I really cheap by trying to save $6?  Let me know your thoughts, but I think I'm on to something.



Damon said...

Just because it looks like wort, doesn't mean it is wort.

I'd worry about killing the yeast with too high a concentration of chemicals. I'm no expert, and I'd love to hear what an expert has to say, but just because low levels of chemicals can spur yeast growth and activity doesn't mean that high levels are good.

I'd also be really curious to hear what it smells like when you do open it.

Have you used yeast nutrients before? It's pretty vile. I wonder how the Wyeast smack pack nutrients compare. One spurs yeast activity while the other spurs multiplication, so I'd be surprised if they were exactly the same.

Jason said...

Damon, that is a very valid point. I'm going to go to teh Wyeast site and do some research on what the contents of that little pouch are.